Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl

Before he burst through those curtains in that dark suit and made the whole world freeze for a few spins, Magic Johnson had to be cornered by his agent for one important reminder.

Before he stepped up to the Great Western Forum microphone to give the sporting universe its very own Kennedy Moment, Magic startled Lon Rosen by telling him he was about to inform a global TV audience that he had the AIDS virus.

“In the heat of the moment, you had to remind him that it was HIV, not AIDS,” Rosen recalled over the weekend. “That’s how little we both understood about it — how little we all understood about it at the time.”

Minutes later, millions around the globe began to really process the distinction for the first time. Magic hoisted that mic to a suitable height, flashed the faintest of Magic smiles, then said some of the most enduring news-conference words that will ever be spoken: “Because of the HIV virus that I have attained, I will have to retire from the Lakers today.”

So began the NBA’s stop-the-presses answer to the assassination of President Kennedy, or President Nixon’s resignation, or maybe the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. So began what longtime Lakers PR director John Black refers to as “the biggest press conference in the history of sports.”

“And it probably still is,” Black said.

I know this much: It’s the most unforgettable day I’ve ever had or will ever have doing this greatest of jobs. Where were you on Nov. 7, 1991? is a question you’re going to hear often on this anniversary Monday, but you have to give me some time to unfurl my whole answer as one of the fortunate, frenzied hundreds who was lucky enough to be stuffed inside the famed Forum Club for the announcement itself.

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WRITTEN BY Follow Marc Stein on Twitter: @stein_line_HQ & FULL STORY HERE